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One Book One Community 2023: The Blues: About the Book

2023 Community-Wide Reading Program celebrating "The Blues: The Authentic Narrative of My Music & Culture" by Chris Thomas King

The Book: The Blues

The Author: Chris Thomas King

Check It Out!

Country Roads Giveaway

Enter here for a chance to win a Library Prize Pack courtesy of Country Roads!

• $50 gift card to Jubans Restaurant
• $25 gift card to Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux
• "I Geek the Blues" t-shirt
• The Blues by Chris Thomas King
• Huey 'Piano' Smith and the Rocking  Pneumonia Blues by John Wirt
• Blues from the Bayou by Julian C. Piper
• Blue Library tote bag
• Harmonica
• Other OBOC goodies


About the Book

Prior histories on the blues have alleged it originated on plantations in the Mississippi Delta. But author & musician Chris Thomas King disagrees, arguing the blues began as a cosmopolitan art form in New Orleans, not a rural one in the Mississippi Delta. In The Blues, King presents supporting facts to disprove such myths & preserve the authentic historical memory of his music & culture.

Available formats include print, e-book, e-audiobook, & audio CD.

Companion Podcast

Listen to the podcast here:


"Chris Thomas King has crafted a timely and insightful work expounding upon history, music, social issues, and his own life's experiences. Most important, his revision of blues history and revolutionary new theory concerning the origins, meaning, and nature of blues is a fresh new perspective that will be a true revolution to readers and will open new lines of discussion on American culture and the importance of the city of New Orleans for generations to come." —Dr. Michael White, jazz clarinetist, composer, and Keller Endowed Chair at Xavier University of LA

"In his book The Blues, Chris Thomas King, musician, author, and disciple, emerges as the newly minted messiah: an enlightened prophet, rising from the misunderstood, misinformed, and mis-gathered ashes of America's blues legacy like a phoenix steeped in the word—the gospel testament that is the authentic verse, chapter, and psalm, as is his birthright and legacy, the history he has lived and been gifted. His tireless research, driven by a need to uncover the essence of his art and heritage, lead him to unearth and expand the true narrative of the blues and set the record straight for posterity." —Alexander Smalls, author of Meals, Music, and Muses and Grace the Table

"A total game changer…[a] groundbreaking major contribution to blues literature." —Living Blues

"A contemporary blues artist offers a provocative recasting of the standard narratives... A passionate narrative that will attract attention, debate, and ruffled feathers." -Kirkus

"The book meticulously deconstructs the “fairy tale” of the Mississippi Delta blues creation story, which was, King argues, largely crafted by White folklorists and musicologists to suit their own, sometimes racist ideologies and narratives. By contrast, “The Blues” is a rigorously researched, 400-page account relayed by an actual practitioner of the art form." -Birthplace of the blues? It's Louisiana, say scholar Michael White, guitarist-author Chris Thomas King: The jazz clarinetist and blues-based guitarist team up for a provocative presentation at Xavier University -

"This book will challenge readers in a good way. While you may disagree with some of King’s contentions, you certainly will find that he has delved deep into history for the information to support his theories, and makes a convincing case for reconsideration." - Chris Thomas King – The Blues: The Authentic Narrative Of My Music And Culture | Book Review - Blues Blast Magazine    

"Make no mistake, The Blues is a challenging and disruptive book, capable of making the reader nod in agreement on one page and roll their eyes at the next. You may not agree with many of King’s assertions, but you’ll learn plenty of things, and head to YouTube to hear some music." -Chris Thomas King Writes Fiery Reassessment of Blues History and Meaning - Houston Press    

Country Roads Article


Check out this article that Country Roads wrote about "The Blues"!                      

OBOC in 225

              Look at this article from 225 Magazine about the One Book One Community Event!

OBOC in The Advocate

 Read this article from The Advocate about our One Book One Community Event!

WAFB's Louisiana Weekend

Watch WAFB's feature of our One Book One Community Event in their Louisiana Weekend segment!